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Red panda cubs make their debut at the Calgary Zoo

Two male red panda cubs were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 21, 2016 to mom, Sakura, and dad, Dusk. .
Two male red panda cubs were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 21, 2016 to mom, Sakura, and dad, Dusk. . The Calgary Zoo

Two red panda cubs born at the Calgary Zoo earlier this year are making their public debut.

The cubs were born on June 21 to mom, Sakura, and dad, Dusk.

Officials said Friday the cubs are now venturing out of their den and taking steps outside of their habitat, giving visitors an opportunity to see them for the first time.

Red pandas are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. With fewer than 10,000 in the wild, the Calgary Zoo said the species is facing decreasing population numbers due to habitat loss and degradation.

“At three months old, these two have boosted the captive population of their subspecies by a remarkable four per cent,” the zoo said in a Friday news release.

“The cubs have been very bonded with their mom, which has been excellent to see,” curator Matt Korhonen said. “We’re so pleased that our husbandry practices combined with a strong female like Sakura has allowed us to be successful with our conservation efforts with this endangered species.”

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The cubs don’t yet have names – the zoo will actually be launching an online contest after Thanksgiving to seek public input. For more information you can visit calgaryzoo.com.

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